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Kristen Stewart heard about the obsessive fans of Stephenie Meyer's best-selling book "Twilight" before she took the part of moody teenager Bella cygne in the film adaptation, but she refused to let them affect her work during the film's Portland, Ore., shoot. Even as small crowds of the books' fans would follow from one outdoor location to another, she says she "kept her head down the entire way."
"I just didn't pay attention," Stewart recalls. "I was like, 'You guys are celebrating something that has not come true yet. So, toi are really retarded and have nothing to do with this creative process and I really don't want to hear toi celebrate in front of me. Get out of here! It's my responsibility!'"
Already an industry veteran at 18 with roles in films such as "Panic Room," "Zathura" and "Into the Wild," the actress says she first realized how intense the fan base was when she sat on the film's Comic-Con convention panel this past July.
"You can go online and it's very intangible. I mean, who knows how many of these girls there are? It's probably just the same five girls going on every message board and gabbing on about it," Stewart says. "But to have literally, like, a room of over 5,000 people screaming at toi makes toi want to cry. It's not like, 'Oh, this is so great.' I think it's literally like an instinct. To have that sort of energy forced at you? toi start to wither."
Happily though, the Los Angeles native says she hasn't been accosted on the streets of her hometown par stalker "Twilight" fans (yet). Although she admits she's wary of what the reaction might be after the film comes out. And, like many at the company behind the new franchise, Summit Entertainment, she's cautious on presuming it's going to be the monster hit everyone expects it to be.
"The press just saw the movie and who knows how well it's going to do," Stewart says. "I know they have all these equations that are supposed to pompe out the answer, but they don't know for sure."
The buzz of the project has already affected her career in a positive way. Stewart had been attached to an independent feature, "Welcome to the Rileys," for a number of years, but once the "Twilight" roller coaster began, "Rileys" mysteriously found its financing. And it appears that a number of other projects are benefiting from the same presumed success. Stewart notes, "So, all these films I've loved so much, I can help get made."
And toi can bet she'll endure years of screaming fans if she can spend her off time pursuing those less commercial opportunities.
"Twilight" opens nationwide on Nov. 21.